Jambinu Indigenous women’s team aim to lift soccer title for WA but must get Queensland travel green light

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Reuben CarderGeraldton Guardian
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Tracey Green, left, with Adrian Bartlett and Football West's Tanya Amazzini all wearing the Jambinu strips.
Camera IconTracey Green, left, with Adrian Bartlett and Football West's Tanya Amazzini all wearing the Jambinu strips. Credit: Geraldton Guardian

Some of the best female Indigenous soccer players in the country are facing an anxious wait to find out if they will have a shot at a national title and national Indigenous team selection in Queensland next month.

Football West chief football officer Jamie Harnwell said yesterday the Mid West-based Jambinu Indigenous representative team would have to wait and see if they could travel for the First Nations Indigenous Football Cup, after WA paused a plan to reclassify Queensland as “very low risk” for travel.

“That’s (the planned reclassification date) a week out from the travel date,” Harnwell, a former Perth Glory captain, said.

“We would be requiring it to be very low risk for them to travel.

“We are hopeful and we are waiting to see what occurs.”

Harnwell said the chance to compete for selection in the Indigenous Koalas national side was a massive one.

“Football West is excited to team up with the Geraldton Sporting Aboriginal Corporation to send a team,” he said.

“This is an exciting opportunity for Indigenous women to show off their talent and do WA and their communities proud.”

The cup is due to run on November 5-6.

Local artist Tracey Green, who has designed the new Jambinu uniforms, said more than sport was at stake, with representation on the line.

“(The design) recognises that our ancestors of the First Nations people have occupied and cared for this country,” Green said.

She said the design represented water, earth, growth, connections, unity and people in its elements. Light blue and black kits have both been created allowing the side to change strips.

Geraldton Sporting Aboriginal Corporation executive Adrian Bartlett said the competition was “extremely significant” for the Indigenous community.

“It’s a national competition,” Bartlett said.

He said nine of the players would likely be from the Mid West area, with the rest from other parts of WA. Jambinu, named after a Wajarri word for the Geraldton region, is based in the Mid West and has included players from the Goldfields, Perth, Bunbury and Albany as well as the local region.

Premier Mark McGowan on Thursday announced the State Government had paused the plan to reclassify Queensland after a COVID-19 case was reported there.

The Government will reassess the plan on Monday, the Premier said.

Local player Allee Bartlett is set to be one of the senior members of the squad.

The Geraldton area is also referred to as Jambinbirri in Wilunyu, according to the Bundiyarra language centre.

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